Matt

Matt

We are so excited to get to know you!! Please introduce yourself (Name, where you’re from) - What was your life like before undergoing chemotherapy?

Matt Ode, Cleveland Ohio, 29yrs old. Before Cancer I was a personal trainer and wellness director predicating my life towards fitness and helping others do the same.

Bring us along your journey – when were you diagnosed with cancer? What was your initial reaction?

I was diagnosed at the age of 24 doctors discovered an 11cm tumor in my small intestine leading to the highest stage of Testicular Cancer. My initial reaction was shock and holding my emotions in which ended up casing more emotional trauma until I was able to share my struggles with Lauren, my girlfriend.

What was your first chemotherapy treatment like? What treatment/treatments did you or are currently undergoing?

My first treatment was 5 Rounds of BEP very intense and potent chemo. I didn’t know what to expect but after the first round I was completely wiped out with fatigue.

Who did you turn to as your support system?

My biggest support was Lauren my parents family, and friends they were everything to me.

 What is something you wished you knew before starting your chemo treatment?

That is journey is not fought alone. Don’t try to go into treatment holding in your emotions and struggles talk with others and surround yourself with positive support and others who have gone through similar situations as you.

Had/Has your daily routine changed? If so, how?

Yes, instead of worrying about little things it was now what can I do today to progress forward. It was the ultimate test of being present.



Have there been certain side effects that have been worse than others?

With Chemo I initially did not get a port causing all the veins in my arms to clot up causing me to have to get a surgery in the 4th round of chemo. In addition my fatigue and mental health were at an all time struggle as I lost my 3 year puppy from cancer during my 3rd round and felt like giving up after that. Luckily, my faith and support carried me through.

 

What are tips/tricks you have learned along the way to help with chemo side effects?

#1 is stay on top of your nausea medication.

#2 Drink lots of water to flush out the toxins in your body

#3 Get up and get fresh air when you can. It will help you physically and mentally

Any advice for other chemo patients?

It will seem like there is no end in sight in the moment when your body is broken but just remember the most challenging times in life also create the greatest opportunities to become the best version of you in the future.